Paisley Pirates go into the festive break with a chance of lifting silverware in the second half of the season, having reached the semi-final of the Scottish Cup and lying fifth in the Scottish National League, but with games in hand over the sides above them.
“It’s been a strange first half of the season in a number of respects,” said Pirates’ boss Ian Turley.
“We’ve got a 100% home record in the league but, with the exception of the 10-1 win against Moray, all of the them have been very tight affairs, with no more than a couple of goals in it.
“Last Sunday’s game against the Dundee Comets was a typical example. I don’t think we played at our best, but the guts and determination of our players got us through, and that’s been a feature of our play.
“It can be pretty nail biting as a coach, but great if you’re a spectator, because our fans have certainly had great value for their money.
“Away from home it’s been a different story for some reason. Normally we have a good record at other rinks, but so far we’ve only picked up one point on the road from three games, and that has to improve if we’re going to have any chance of winning anything.
“We might be lying fifth at the moment but we’ve only dropped five points, and only Edinburgh, who have dropped four, have a better record in that context.”
“Conversely, in the Scottish Cup we’ve got a great away record – it’s had to be good because we haven’t had a home draw.
“We won at North Ayrshire, then went to Kirkcaldy and beat the holders, and in the semi-final we play the winners of the Kilmarnock/Aberdeen quarter-final, again in a one-legged away tie, so if we make the final we’ll have done it the hard way.
“We’ve got plenty to be playing for over the next couple of months, which is as much as any coach could ask for, so well enjoy a well-earned break before we get back to the serious business of trying to win ice hockey games.”
(Image permission: Gordon Venters)